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Will get back to my usual blog on Sunday, but just wanted to post a quick update on how things went this week, which is incredibly well!

I “enjoyed” a no-gin and tonic on our patio this weekend during the “no alcohol before surgery” period:

I can now confirm that the gin really makes the G&T and I am looking forward to having a proper one this coming weekend! Quite disappointingly, I noticed that the room service menu at the hospital includes no wine!

It is actually a room service menu – you just call and order whatever you want whenever you want, instead of having meals delivered at set times. And the food was actually decent.

Our lovely friends Geoff and Sharyn got us well prepared for this week. Sharyn gave me a collection of healing crystals and a guardian angel to keep with me in hospital:

Geoff gave Hugh a beer coolie filled with chocolate-covered coffee beans to help him cope with me this week 🙂

Then we had Rob kindly be our taxi driver to the airport on Sunday with Leigh coming on Thursday to take us home. Add to that the gazillion good wishes being sent to us from literally around the world, and all I can say is THANK YOU! All of your kind magic worked and I am doing SO well, I’m really quite floored.

The short version is – surgery went very well on Monday afternoon, no signs of cancer anywhere else, even in the lymph nodes, and I was doing so well yesterday morning that they discharged me at 12:30pm – only 20 hours after surgery was completed! It’s now Wednesday and I’m walking up and down stairs and have practically no pain so we’re flying home tomorrow instead of Friday!

Now for those of you who don’t know me as well and aren’t accustomed to my over-sharing and TMI tendencies, you should just stop reading here and go enjoy the rest of your day. For the rest of you who just have to stop and look at a train wreck, here is the long version.

The uterus was indeed quite large with everything that was going on inside it and put up a bit of a fight being extracted via the vagina, but the surgeon was still able to remove it that way, for which I am very grateful. Having a couple extra stitches to repair a couple minor tears down under (ha ha) is nothing compared to if he had had to open me right up – that would have been a much lengthier recovery. Unlike when I had the hysteroscopy in Rockhampton and woke up from the anesthetic feeling like I’d had the best sleep of my life, it took me a couple hours to be able to stay awake this time. And then it was night time, so back to intermittent sleep I went :).

Being a speech pathologist who teaches for a living, I was particularly pleased to have no intubation damage to my vocal folds! I’m sure I was one of very few patients to ask my anesthetist about this :).

The only disappointing thing about the process was that they didn’t take the opportunity to do some liposuction while they were at it! Perhaps I missed that consent form.

On Tuesday morning, they told me that there were 3 things they wanted to see me do and if I aced them, I could get discharged a day early. The first was the wee test (“wee” is Aussie for pee) and I am very pleased to report that the overachiever in me came through with flying colours! They needed to see the combination of weeing at least 100 ml while leaving no more than 100 ml in the bladder three times in a row. Easy peasy. My scores were 300 out with 20 left, then 180 out with 15 left, and then 300 out with 15 left. PASS! I then had to go for a walk with the physio – PASS! And finally, the pain had to be manageable. This is what has caught me off guard the most. I can whinge (“whinge” is Aussie for whine) all day about a paper cut so I wasn’t expecting to manage pain very well (hence why Geoff’s choice of chocolate-covered coffee beans to help Hugh cope with me seemed like a very good decision). Somehow, I have very little pain. I definitely had pain from the gas they inject to puff up the abdomen during surgery – they remove most of the gas before they close the incisions but what remains somehow causes pain from the diaphragm up through the chest to the shoulders. I had good tips from Cheri and Shanda to lie on my left side to help ease that and the last of that pain was gone at some point yesterday. But aside from that, I have practically no pain from the surgical sites. All I can say is that Dr. Morton is an incredible surgeon and all of your good vibes and the healing crystals have done their thing! They gave me oxycontin on Monday immediately after the surgery but on Tuesday it was just Panadol (Aussie equivalent of Tylenol). So at 12:30pm on Tuesday, they gave me the go ahead for discharge!

Hugh and I are staying at the Lang Parade Lodge, one of two accommodations owned by the Wesley Hospital. It’s a short walk from the hospital to the lodge but the lodge has drivers to pick patients up on discharge. Because my discharge came much sooner than anticipated, they didn’t have a driver available. So Hugh checked with the hospital and they let him walk me back to the lodge, pushing me in a wheelchair. Nowhere is flat in Brisbane, so he had to navigate a couple hills, one up and one down, pushing me while also pushing my suitcase on wheels. If I look a bit pathetic in this picture as we arrived at the lodge, it’s simply due to my shock and relief at surviving the ride:

The lodge is a great place to recuperate – lots of indoor and outdoor places to practice walking, sitting, doing stairs, etc. They also provide cereal and toast for breakfast. Check out the subtle name differences compared to North America for these cereals:

So yesterday I took 2 Panadol at 11:30am and another 2 at 6:30pm. Today I’ve just taken 1 at 8:30am and it’s now 1pm and I still feel really good. Hugh and I just walked down the street to pick up some lunch and while I’m a bit out of breath, still incredibly little pain. (Shanda – I definitely need to practice my diaphragmatic breathing again!). So we changed our plane tickets to fly home tomorrow instead of Friday, which also works out well for the lodge because they have other patients waiting for rooms here. Win win!

I’ll hear by Tuesday if the lab discovered any subtle signs of cancer elsewhere, but my surgeon seems very positive that there is none and if so, that’s the end of this short chapter – PHEW!

So I’ll plan to be back to my usual Sunday blog posts this weekend. I have a new flying creature to tell you about and info on snakes…

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